There I said it

This is the third time I have attempted to write this post so I am going to just come right out and admit it.

I am bored.

There I said it. Strike me down, judge me for being selfish and a terrible mother, whatever but it’s the truth.

Each time I have started this post I have included some sort of apology for how I am feeling but I have now realised it is just to appease the guilt and the fear of what others will think of me. It is time to be honest and I shouldn’t have to apologise for that.

There seems to be this widely held misconception that mums are at home blissfully and without complaint relishing in the joys of motherhood. I call bullshit on that. It’s not all cheeky grins and loving cuddles. Motherhood is not a Huggies ad. It is a lot of sitting around waiting in between feeds, playtime and naps with little to no adult interaction and I am struggling with that concept.

Going from such an intense work environment where I was constantly challenged and being surrounded by intelligent, inspiring people to now being at home with my own thoughts and quite frankly not a lot to do is bloody hard work. Stay-at-home mums I salute you. I seriously don’t know how you do it.

Being a mum is the easy part. It is rewarding like everyone says but it’s the in-between stuff that is tedious and as a fellow mum in the industry said to me last Friday over drinks can be “mind-numbing”. When the most mentally challenging part of your day is wondering what to cook for dinner you know you’ve got problems.

I miss adult interaction. I miss the buzz of the newsroom. I miss breaking news before anyone else. I miss long lunches and over-priced takeaway coffees. I miss my colleagues. I miss using my brain. I miss the old-school editors who are reluctant to embrace online reporting. Hell I even miss being ignored by the sales staff in the office downstairs.

I realised something needed to change on Monday when the non-baby related highlight of my day was finding a local shop which sold steel-cut oats.

So yesterday I put in a call to my boss to see if I could start back earlier. Nothing major just one day a week hopefully starting in November. Mum has agreed to look after The Baby on that one day too. Hopefully I will still be breastfeeding so the plan is to go home about midday to give him a feed and a cuddle before returning to the office for the afternoon.

In a perfect world I would bring him along to work with me but alas even in 2012 workplaces just aren’t child or mother friendly. I really hope this changes soon. I am sure there are plenty of mothers who would love to return to work earlier but simply can’t because they’re isn’t enough flexibility in their job or they don’t have the support network to allow it to happen.

Lucky for me I have both. The Boy is more than happy for me to return to work earlier and has been very encouraging. Happy mum, happy baby, happy dad.

The hardest part of this for me has been admitting it publicly. People close to me have labelled mothers who return to work early as selfish so I know they will be silently judging me. I can only imagine what they will be thinking when I return to full-time work next year and gasp put The Baby into child care. To them I say – mind your own business.

Dads aren’t judged for working so why should mums have so much guilt heaped upon them?

I would love to hear from other working mums who went back to work earlier than anticipated. Why did you go back? Was it hard leaving your little one behind? Are you happier? Leave me a comment below.

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7 responses

  1. Love it my beautiful friend. Especially the part about your intelligent, sexy colleagues (whoops did I ad-lib a bit there?) And I, for one, can’t WAIT to have you back xxx

  2. Do it do it do it. I did and never regretted it. I’m a better mother for it because I relish my time with my child as well as having sanity through work!

  3. LMG, there is noing selfish about anything you’ve said. It’s called being human. I’m too frightened of the impact on my life and psyche to even consider having children. You’ll be a much better mother if your intellectual needs are being satisfied. Do it.

  4. You’re so lucky to have the support of your parents so if you, dad and bub are happy with the situation, then get back to work and get those happy feelings going! If you’re happy then the baby is happy. If you mope around the house for months bored and slowly going crazy, that’s not helping anybody!

  5. Yep do it. Everyone is different and if you are feeling this way then you are obviously ready. I returned to work as a casual with my first when he was about 12 months old. However second time round, it had been so long since I had been in the workforce that even though after a year I was dying to go back to work, I had lost my “employment confidence”. It’s hard to explain but I almost felt as though I had social anxiety in terms of employment. I felt as though after so many years being a stay at home mum, I wasn’t good enough. When he was almost 18 months old and I was almost at breaking point, I bit the bullet. Best feeling ever!!! I can honestly say, my overall mood and outlook on life impoved just from returning to work a few shifts a weeik. I don’t care how busy I am when I have 3 or 4 or 5, working a few shifts a week will be on my “keep my mental health incheck” agenda.

  6. I can understand completely where you are comming from. I went from a fast paced job surrounded by co workers to being at home 24/7, and the only person in our social circle with kids. It took me a lot to adjust. I filled time frantically worried my brain would sieze by studying at TAFE, volenteering with local groups and starting a small home based business while juggling babies . My brain would just glaze over when i met other mums who devoted every waking minute to child rearing and i avoided the local mothers group like the plague as i just couldnt muster the enthusiasm sported by others at the prospect of being housebound with small children and i felt it was the “wrong” thing to admit this. Now i dont care, i tell people its freakin boring, get a hobby, work part time.. DO SOMETHING to keep you sane as theres only so much poo, vomit, crying, washing, and mundane house work that can be done before you feel like a burnt out old hag who has recieved a labotomy. A happy mum equals a happy baby, children and partner, no mum should ever feel guilty for doing the best they can do for themselves to be a better parent.

  7. Good on you Lee. You know what’s right for you and your family – so do what you gotta do. 2 words. Groundhog day. Thank god I get to work from home and do something different and use my brain! I love my kids, but also need the stimulation of working. Great that your mum can look after bubby 🙂

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